Star Wars Resistance: “No Escape – Part 1” review

We have approached the season one finale of Star Wars Resistance, which is broken up into two episodes.  This week, we got a chance to see the first part of that, and it culminated with a truly emotional gut-punch: the destruction of the Hosnian System, through Kaz’s eyes.

Let’s jump in to our review of another very good episode of Resistance.

SUMMARY:

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With the First Order having taken control of the now-submerged Colossus and moved to arrest the Resistance spies, Captain Doza confronts Commander Pyre, threatening him with contacting the New Republic.  Pyre orders Doza to be arrested, but Doza instructs his security droid, 4D-M1N, to act.  4D goes into combat mode and kills the troopers, but Pyre shoots and kills 4D, then taking Doza into captivity.  Torra Doza secretly observes this happening and sends her pet, Buggles, to find Kaz.

Kaz, meanwhile, comes up with a plan to free Yeager and Tam, and he, Neeku, Kel, and Eila (with the help of the chelidae) manage to take the control room.  Kaz and CB-23 swim outside while Neeku, Kel, and Eila man the control station.  But outside, First Order aquatroopers spot them, and they pursue a retreating Kaz back into the station.  While Kaz and CB fight the troopers, Neeku tries to find the correct switch, eventually jettisoning the troopers out into the water.  Shortly after this, Kel and Eila notice something at the top of the control room: a hyperdrive.  Surprised by this discovery, Kaz wants them to get it ready to launch, and he takes a brief trip to visit Flix and Orka – who are hiding hoping to be secretly shipped out.  After this, Buggles finds Kaz and leads him to Torra, but soon a First Order BB droid finds them and transmits an alarm.  CB-23 springs into action, battling the First Order BB unit and ultimately tricking him into falling down an elevator shaft.

While all of this is going on, Tam is being treated very well by Agent Tierny of the First Order.  Tam believes that Kaz may be a spy but is sure that Yeager isn’t, though Tierny plays a message of Yeager confessing to all of it and claiming that Kaz has nothing to do with it.  This doesn’t fool the First Order, but as Tam is walking with them she sees Yeager being thrown into a cell, and he tries to tell her his side of the story – but she doesn’t believe him.  Yeager is thrown into the same cell as Captain Doza.  Later, Tierny makes Tam a compelling offer: she can join the First Order and become a pilot, like she always wanted.

As Kaz and Torra sneak into the tower, they face one stormtrooper but are surprised by how quiet things are.  They sneak into the Aces lounge and find the stormtroopers gathered watching a transmission of General Hux as Starkiller Base is about to fire.  Torra urges Kaz to use this as a distraction to sneak by, but as the hologram shows the Base firing and planets destroyed, Kaz looks back with horror, asking CB to confirm what system was shown.  Having his fears confirmed that it was Hosnian Prime, a devastated Kaz desperately expresses concern for his parents and his homeworld, which has just been destroyed.

REVIEW:

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This episode ended with an emotional gut-punch, and I’m sure that many people will remember it for a while as one of the most impactful and lasting moments from the show’s run.  It’s pretty cool to see The Force Awakens overlap with Resistance, and there was no better way for the show to portray that happening than by showing the destruction of Hosnian Prime.

It’s been built up since the beginning of the show that Kaz is a wealthy kid from Hosnian Prime and the son of a New Republic Senator.  He tried to hide all of that when he was stationed on the Colossus, but the last two weeks have given us reminders – in case we forgot – about his true identity.  In last week’s episode, Agent Tierny revealed to Tam who Kaz really is, and then this week Kaz revealed to Neeku who his father is and said that, once he got this information to his dad and the New Republic, they would send help.  So even in this episode, Kaz’s plan is to find a way to escape and get this information to the New Republic.  Last week, he learned that the Resistance wasn’t coming… and this week, he learned an even harder lesson: the New Republic isn’t coming either.

In many ways, this is a similar scene to that in A New Hope when Leia watches her home being destroyed.  In TFA we saw the destruction of the Hosnian System, but the punch it delivered was simply that the New Republic has been destroyed.  That accomplished its purpose, but in this episode we get the emotional weight of it, similar to what happens when Leia watches her home be destroyed.  This time, it’s Kaz watching his home and family and friends be destroyed.  It’s a gut-punch for viewers, as the focus isn’t on revealing anything new about the destruction of the Hosnian System but rather on Kaz’s reaction to it.  That’s the smart play by this show’s creators, and by leaving the finale as two distinct episodes rather than an hour-long special, they allow the emotional weight to linger.  Of course, I would have loved to see this as a one-hour finale (since it seems like a lot will happen in next week’s finale), but I get why it’s not: they wanted the emotional weight to linger.  We knew that Hosnian Prime would be destroyed, but we don’t know how Kaz will handle it or what will happen next.  One thing that this did add to our understanding of this moment is that it was broadcast to First Order forces spread out (which makes sense as we know Starkiller wasn’t their home base), and it added the especially chilling shots of First Order stormtroopers raising their firsts in solidarity and salute as billions of people lose their lives, including Kaz’s family.

That whole sequence is obviously the most significant, and I can’t wait to see the conclusion to season one next week.  But there were also a few other moments worth pointing out from this episode.

Firstly, droids really got a chance to shine.  4D had a great battle sequence in fighting the stormtroopers, and then CB engaged in a fight with a First Order BB unit (and emerged victorious, out-fighting and out-smarting the droid).

And secondly, more and more hints are being dropped that Tam will join the First Order.  She’s clearly distrusting of her friends, as she didn’t even trust Yeager when he tried to explain things to her (and on that note: I appreciate Yeager taking the blame away from Kaz and trying to reach out to Tam, as he’s clearly standing up for his friends and employees).  And then Tierny offers her the chance to become a pilot, just like she always wanted.  I really am starting to think that Tam might join the First Order, and I think that’d make for a really interesting storyline in season two.  We have often seen people go from the bad side to the good side, but we haven’t often seen the reverse of that.  I think it’d be a very logical place to take Tam’s character given what has happened this season, and I think it would be interesting from a storytelling standpoint.  But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Resistance has really been fantastic recently, and it’s kind of crazy that next week is the finale of season one.  I’m sure there will be a lot to talk about, and I’m sure that it will set us up for some more epic moments to come in season two.  I can’t wait for next week’s episode!

My grade: 9.0/10

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